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Cheap London Travel: How I Had A 10-Day Vacation For ONLY $700


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rianon Bill



Welcome to the world of budget travel! Have you ever dreamed of exploring the vibrant city of London without breaking the bank? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s absolutely possible. In this article, I’ll share my personal experience of how I managed to have a fantastic 10-day vacation in London for only $700.


London, the capital city of England, is known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and diverse cultural scene. It’s a city that offers something for everyone, but many people shy away from visiting due to the perception of high costs. However, with careful planning, smart choices, and a few insider tips, you can enjoy all that London has to offer on a budget.


Now, you might be wondering how it’s possible to have such an affordable vacation in a city known for its expensive reputation. Well, the key lies in strategic planning and maximizing your resources. By prioritizing your expenses, opting for budget-friendly options, and taking advantage of free attractions and activities, you can enjoy an unforgettable London experience without draining your bank account.


So, whether you’re a student looking for an affordable getaway, a budget-conscious traveler, or simply someone who wants to explore London without breaking the bank, this article is for you. Get ready to discover the secrets of cheap London travel and embark on a remarkable adventure within your budget.


Planning the Trip

Planning is the key to a successful and budget-friendly trip to London. Here are some essential tips to help you plan your trip effectively:

  1. Set a Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your trip, including accommodation, transportation, food, attractions, and souvenirs. Having a budget in mind will guide your decision-making process and keep your expenses under control.
  2. Select the Right Time to Visit: London can be crowded and expensive during peak tourist seasons. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) when you can find better deals on flights and accommodations while still enjoying decent weather and fewer crowds.
  3. Research Transportation Options: Look for the most cost-effective ways to travel to and within London. Consider booking flights in advance, comparing different airlines, and exploring alternative airports for better deals. Within the city, utilize the extensive public transportation system, such as the London Underground (Tube) and buses, which are more affordable than taxis.
  4. Choose Affordable Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels. Consider staying in areas outside the city center, as they tend to be more affordable while still providing easy access to public transportation.
  5. Create an Itinerary: Plan your days in London by listing the attractions and activities you want to experience. Look for free or low-cost attractions, and group activities that are close to each other to save time and money on transportation.
  6. Research Discount Cards and Passes: Consider purchasing a London Pass or an Oyster Card, which can provide discounts on attractions, public transportation, and even meals. Compare different card options to find the one that suits your needs and offers the best value.
  7. Pack Smart: Pack light and bring essential items to avoid unnecessary expenses. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes for walking and a reusable water bottle to save money on drinks.

By following these planning tips, you’ll have a solid foundation for your budget trip to London. Remember, thorough research and careful consideration will help you make the most of your time and money while exploring all that this incredible city has to offer.



Getting around London doesn’t have to be expensive. With a well-planned approach to transportation, you can navigate the city easily and affordably. Here are some tips to help you save money on transportation:

  1. Utilize Public Transportation: The London Underground, also known as the Tube, is a convenient and cost-effective way to travel around the city. Purchase an Oyster Card, a contactless smart card, which provides discounted fares. You can also use this card to pay for buses, trams, and certain National Rail services.
  2. Know the Zones: London is divided into several zones, and the fares for public transportation vary based on these zones. Try to stay within Zone 1 and 2, where most of the popular attractions are located. This will help you save on transportation costs.
  3. Walk: London is a walkable city, especially in the central areas. Take advantage of this and explore the city on foot. Walking not only saves money but also allows you to immerse yourself in the vibrant neighborhoods and discover hidden gems along the way.
  4. Use Buses: London’s bus system is extensive and can be a cheaper alternative to the Tube for shorter distances. Consider using buses for local trips and enjoy the scenic routes while getting to your destination.
  5. Consider Cycling: London has a bike-sharing program called Santander Cycles, where you can rent a bike for a short period. This is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially during good weather. Just remember to familiarize yourself with cycling rules and stay safe on the roads.
  6. Avoid Taxis: Taxis in London can be quite expensive, especially during peak hours. Opt for public transportation or ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, which are often cheaper alternatives.
  7. Plan Your Travel: If you’re taking day trips outside of London, check for discounted train tickets in advance. Websites like Trainline and National Rail often offer cheaper fares for off-peak hours or when booked ahead of time.
  8. Consider a Travel Pass: If you’re planning to use public transportation extensively, consider investing in a travel pass. The Oyster Card or a Travelcard can provide unlimited travel within certain zones for a specific period, saving you money compared to buying individual tickets.

By utilizing these transportation tips, you can navigate London easily and cost-effectively. Remember to plan your routes in advance, choose the most suitable mode of transport for each journey, and take advantage of any discounts or passes available. Exploring the city doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag when you’re savvy about your transportation choices.



When it comes to finding affordable accommodation in London, there are several options to consider. Here are some tips to help you find budget-friendly places to stay:

  1. Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers. They offer dormitory-style accommodations where you can meet fellow travelers and save money on lodging. Look for hostels located near public transportation for easy access to attractions.
  2. Guesthouses and B&Bs: Guesthouses and bed and breakfast options can provide a more personalized experience at a reasonable cost. These establishments often offer comfortable rooms with breakfast included, allowing you to start your day without worrying about finding a meal.
  3. Budget Hotels: Look for budget hotels that offer basic amenities and affordable rates. Many budget hotels in London provide clean and comfortable rooms, making them a viable option for travelers on a budget.
  4. Airbnb: Consider renting a private room or an entire apartment through Airbnb. This can be a cost-effective option, especially if you’re traveling with a group. Look for listings with good reviews and a location that suits your needs.
  5. Stay Outside Central London: Accommodation prices tend to be higher in central London. Consider staying in areas slightly outside the city center, where prices are often lower. Don’t worry; public transportation will still provide easy access to the main attractions.
  6. Compare Prices: Before making a booking, compare prices on different booking websites. Look for deals, discounts, and special promotions. It’s also worth contacting the accommodation directly to ask if they can offer any additional discounts.
  7. Consider Self-Catering: If you’re on a tight budget, consider booking accommodation with self-catering facilities, such as a kitchenette or access to a communal kitchen. This allows you to prepare your meals, saving a significant amount of money on dining out.
  8. Flexible Dates: If your travel dates are flexible, consider checking for lower rates during weekdays or off-peak periods. Prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year, so a little flexibility can go a long way in finding affordable accommodation.

By considering these accommodation tips, you can find affordable places to stay in London without compromising comfort or convenience. Remember to book in advance, read reviews from previous guests, and choose an option that fits within your budget while meeting your travel preferences. With a little research and flexibility, you’ll be able to find a budget-friendly accommodation that serves as a comfortable base for your London adventures.



London is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks, historic sites, and cultural attractions. While some popular tourist attractions may come with a hefty price tag, there are also plenty of budget-friendly ways to experience the city’s charm. Here’s how you can make the most of sightseeing on a budget:

  1. Free Attractions: London offers a range of free attractions that allow you to experience the city without spending a penny. Visit famous landmarks such as the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, which can be admired from the outside without paying an entrance fee. You can also explore parks like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.
  2. Museums and Galleries: Many of London’s world-class museums and galleries offer free admission. Don’t miss the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, just to name a few. Spend hours immersing yourself in art, history, and culture without spending a dime.
  3. Walking Tours: Joining a free walking tour is a great way to explore London’s neighborhoods and learn about the city’s history and secrets. There are various companies that offer these tours, and you can tip the guide according to your budget at the end of the tour.
  4. Discounted Tickets: If there are specific attractions you want to visit that have an entrance fee, check for discounted tickets or special offers. Websites like VisitBritain and Time Out often have deals and promotions for popular attractions, allowing you to save money on admission.
  5. Explore Markets: London is known for its vibrant markets, offering a unique shopping and cultural experience. Visit markets like Camden Market, Borough Market, and Portobello Road Market, where you can soak in the atmosphere, browse stalls, and sample delicious street food. Exploring markets is not only budget-friendly but also a great way to discover local products and immerse yourself in the city’s bustling vibe.
  6. Take Advantage of Free Events: Keep an eye out for free events happening during your visit to London. Whether it’s a festival, concert, or art exhibition, these events can provide entertainment and cultural experiences without breaking the bank.
  7. City Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of London’s skyline without paying for a pricey observation deck. Head to places like Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, or the Sky Garden (which offers a limited number of free tickets) for stunning panoramic views of the city.
  8. Immerse in Neighborhoods: Explore different neighborhoods in London, each with its own unique character. Wander through colorful streets, soak in the local atmosphere, browse independent shops, and discover hidden gems. Exploring neighborhoods is a budget-friendly way to experience the true essence of London.

By taking advantage of these budget-friendly sightseeing tips, you can experience the best that London has to offer without breaking the bank. From free attractions to discounted tickets and immersive experiences, you’ll be able to create memories and explore the city’s rich culture and history within your budget limits.


Eating on a Budget

London is a melting pot of culinary delights, offering a wide range of dining options to suit all budgets. You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy delicious food in the city. Here are some tips for eating on a budget in London:

  1. Street Food: London’s street food scene is thriving, with numerous food markets and stalls offering a variety of cuisines at affordable prices. From mouthwatering burgers to flavorsome curries and tantalizing desserts, you can satisfy your cravings without emptying your wallet.
  2. Food Markets: Visit food markets such as Borough Market, Camden Market, and Brick Lane Market, where you can find a wide range of affordable and delicious food options. Explore the stalls, sample different cuisines, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
  3. Traditional Pubs: Traditional pubs often serve hearty and reasonably priced meals. Look for “pub grub” deals, which offer classic British dishes like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and pie and mash at affordable prices.
  4. Takeaway and Fast Food: If you’re on the go or looking for a quick and budget-friendly meal, consider getting takeaway or opting for fast food options. London has various chains and independent takeaway eateries that offer affordable and satisfying meals.
  5. Pre-Theater Menus: Many restaurants in London offer pre-theater menus, which are available before the evening rush of theater-goers. These menus are often set at a discounted price, allowing you to enjoy a high-quality meal at a fraction of the usual cost.
  6. Food Halls and Cafeterias: Explore the food halls of larger department stores like Harrods and Selfridges, where you can find a variety of food options at different price points. Cafeterias in museums or cultural institutions also offer affordable meal options.
  7. BYOB Restaurants: Look for BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) restaurants, where you can save money by bringing your own alcoholic beverages. This way, you can enjoy a nice meal without the extra expense of ordering drinks from the restaurant.
  8. Discount Vouchers and Apps: Take advantage of discount vouchers and apps that offer deals and discounts on meals in London. Groupon, VoucherCodes, and OpenTable are just a few platforms where you can find discounted offers at various restaurants.
  9. Picnics in Parks: Enjoy the city’s beautiful parks and green spaces by having a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, and find a cozy spot where you can relax and enjoy a budget-friendly meal while taking in the surroundings.

By following these tips, you can indulge in the diverse culinary scene of London without breaking the bank. From street food to market stalls and affordable restaurant options, there are plenty of ways to treat your taste buds while staying within your budget limits. Remember, exploring the city’s food scene can be an adventure in itself!


Free Attractions

London is a city filled with incredible attractions and experiences, and the best part is that many of them come without a price tag. Here are some of the top free attractions in London that you can enjoy without spending a penny:

  1. British Museum: Explore one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive museums, housing a vast collection of art and artifacts from around the globe. From Egyptian mummies to Greek sculptures, the British Museum offers a glimpse into centuries of human history and culture.
  2. National Gallery: Delve into the world of art at the National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. The gallery’s extensive collection covers a wide range of artistic styles and periods.
  3. Tate Modern: Visit the Tate Modern, a contemporary art museum housed in a former power station on the banks of the River Thames. Explore modern and contemporary art from artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney, and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city from the museum’s terrace.
  4. Natural History Museum: Discover the marvels of the natural world at the Natural History Museum. From dinosaur exhibits and the impressive blue whale skeleton to gemstone collections and interactive displays, this museum offers a fascinating journey through the wonders of our planet.
  5. Hyde Park: Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Hyde Park. Enjoy a leisurely stroll or a picnic amidst lush greenery, rent a paddleboat on the Serpentine Lake, or visit the beautiful Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
  6. Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace: Experience a quintessential British tradition by watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace. Witness the immaculately dressed guards as they exchange duties with precision and pomp.
  7. Sky Garden: Head to the Sky Garden, located at the top of the Walkie Talkie building, for stunning panoramic views of the London skyline. Entrance to the garden is free, but make sure to book your free tickets in advance.
  8. The Victoria and Albert Museum: Immerse yourself in art and design at the Victoria and Albert Museum. With collections spanning fashion, sculpture, photography, and more, this museum offers a delightful exploration of human creativity.
  9. Stroll Along the South Bank: Take a leisurely walk along the South Bank of the River Thames, starting from the iconic Tower Bridge and heading towards the London Eye. Enjoy street performers, pop-up markets, stunning views of the city’s landmarks, and the vibrant atmosphere of this popular area.
  10. Parks and Gardens: London is adorned with numerous picturesque parks and gardens. Visit Regent’s Park for its beautiful rose garden and the famous Primrose Hill viewpoint, or explore Greenwich Park with its sweeping views of the city and the Royal Observatory.

These are just a few examples of the many free attractions London has to offer. From world-class museums to serene parks and iconic landmarks, you can experience the best of the city’s culture and beauty without spending a dime. So, make the most of these free attractions and create unforgettable memories during your visit to London.


Day Trips

While London itself is a treasure trove of attractions, there are also fantastic day trips you can take from the city to explore more of England’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. Here are some fascinating day trip options that offer a change of scenery and a unique experience:

  1. Cambridge: Visit the historic city of Cambridge, famous for its prestigious university and stunning architecture. Take a walk along the River Cam, explore the beautiful college grounds, and even go punting on the river for a quintessential Cambridge experience.
  2. Oxford: Discover the “City of Dreaming Spires” with a day trip to Oxford. Explore the renowned Oxford University buildings, visit the Bodleian Library, and take a stroll through the charming streets and gardens of this historic city.
  3. Stonehenge and Bath: Embark on a tour to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Stonehenge and the city of Bath. Marvel at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge and immerse yourself in the Roman history and stunning Georgian architecture of Bath.
  4. Stratford-upon-Avon: Delve into the world of William Shakespeare with a trip to his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. Explore the historic town, visit Shakespeare’s childhood home, and watch a live performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  5. Windsor Castle: Take a trip to Windsor to visit the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, Windsor Castle. Explore the State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel, and witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony if timings align.
  6. Greenwich: Visit Greenwich and explore its rich maritime history. Stand on the Prime Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory, visit the National Maritime Museum, and take a stroll through the beautiful Greenwich Park.
  7. Harry Potter Studio Tour: For Harry Potter fans, a day trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a magical experience. Explore the sets, costumes, and props used in the Harry Potter film series and immerse yourself in the wizarding world.
  8. Brighton: Escape to the seaside town of Brighton, known for its vibrant atmosphere and iconic pier. Enjoy the beach, explore the quirky shops in the Lanes, and visit the stunning Royal Pavilion.
  9. Canterbury: Discover the ancient city of Canterbury, home to Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the magnificent cathedral, wander through the charming streets, and learn about the city’s rich history and religious significance.
  10. Hampton Court Palace: Visit the grand Hampton Court Palace, once home to King Henry VIII. Step back in time as you explore the opulent state apartments, stunning gardens, and the famous Hampton Court Maze.

These day trips from London offer a chance to explore more of England’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in academia, ancient landmarks, or charming towns, there’s a day trip option for everyone. Plan your itinerary, book your transportation in advance, and set off on an unforgettable adventure just outside of London.


Shopping and Souvenirs

London is a shopper’s paradise, offering a diverse range of shopping experiences, from high-end luxury brands to quirky independent boutiques and bustling markets. When it comes to shopping and finding souvenirs, here are some tips to help you make the most of your budget:

  1. Markets: Explore the vibrant markets of London, where you can find unique souvenirs, handmade crafts, antiques, and more. Visit Camden Market for alternative fashion and quirky items, Portobello Road Market for vintage treasures, and Borough Market for delectable food products.
  2. Discount Outlets: Check out discount outlet stores like Bicester Village or Hackney Walk for designer and high-end fashion brands at significantly reduced prices. These outlets offer the opportunity to snag a bargain and add a touch of luxury to your wardrobe without paying full retail prices.
  3. High Street Shopping: London is home to numerous high street stores where you can find affordable fashion, accessories, and souvenirs. Head to popular shopping destinations like Oxford Street, Regent Street, or Carnaby Street for a wide range of options.
  4. Department Stores: Explore iconic department stores like Harrods, Selfridges, or Liberty. While these stores cater to luxury shoppers, they also offer more affordable options and unique souvenirs that reflect British culture and craftsmanship.
  5. Charity Shops: Look for charity shops around the city, which sell second-hand items at bargain prices. You never know what treasures you might find, and your purchases support a good cause.
  6. Souvenir Shops: Visit souvenir shops in popular tourist areas like Covent Garden, Leicester Square, or Piccadilly Circus. While prices may vary, these shops offer a wide range of London-themed souvenirs, such as postcards, keychains, mugs, and t-shirts.
  7. Street Art and Local Artists: London is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a walk through neighborhoods like Shoreditch or Brick Lane, where you can find unique art pieces by local artists. Support independent artists by purchasing their artwork or prints as a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
  8. Customize Your Souvenirs: Look for stores that offer personalized or customizable souvenirs. Whether it’s getting a t-shirt printed with your own design or having a piece of jewelry engraved, customizing your souvenirs adds a personal touch.
  9. Tax-Free Shopping: If you’re a non-UK resident, don’t forget to take advantage of tax-free shopping. Look for shops that offer tax refund services, which allows you to claim a refund on the value-added tax (VAT) paid on eligible purchases.
  10. Shop the Sales: If you visit London during the sale seasons (typically January and July), you can find great deals and discounts across a range of stores. Keep an eye out for signs indicating sale promotions and take advantage of the reduced prices.

With these shopping tips, you can find unique souvenirs, stylish fashion, and bargains while exploring the shopping scene of London. Remember to compare prices, shop within your budget, and enjoy the thrill of discovering hidden gems and treasures in the diverse retail landscape of the city.


Budgeting Tips

Traveling on a budget requires careful planning and smart decision-making. To make the most of your money and ensure a memorable and affordable trip to London, here are some budgeting tips:

  1. Create a Daily Budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend each day on accommodation, transportation, meals, and attractions. This will help you allocate your funds effectively and keep track of your expenses.
  2. Research and Compare Prices: Take the time to research prices for flights, accommodations, and attractions. Compare prices on different platforms and websites to find the best deals and discounts.
  3. Book in Advance: Booking accommodations, flights, and attractions in advance can often result in lower prices. Look for early bird discounts or last-minute deals to save money on your bookings.
  4. Pack Light: Avoid costly baggage fees by packing light. Only bring the essentials and consider doing laundry during your trip to reduce the number of clothes you need to bring.
  5. Eat Like a Local: Avoid expensive tourist restaurants and opt for local eateries or street food stalls. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get to taste authentic and delicious cuisine.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day. This will save you money on bottled drinks and keep you hydrated while exploring the city.
  7. Use Public Transportation: Public transportation, such as the London Underground, buses, and trams, is generally cheaper than taking taxis or rideshares. Invest in an Oyster Card or contactless payment for discounted fares.
  8. Take Advantage of Free Activities: London offers a plethora of free attractions, events, and festivals. Take advantage of these opportunities to save money while still enjoying cultural experiences.
  9. Plan Your Meals: Plan your meals in advance and consider eating larger meals during lunchtime when many restaurants offer affordable lunch specials. This allows you to enjoy a filling meal at a lower price compared to dinner menus.
  10. Walk and Explore: Explore the city on foot whenever possible. Walking not only saves money on transportation but also allows you to discover hidden gems and enjoy the charm of different neighborhoods.
  11. Avoid Peak Tourist Seasons: Prices for flights, accommodations, and attractions tend to be higher during peak tourist seasons. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons for better deals and fewer crowds.
  12. Take Advantage of Student Discounts or City Passes: If you’re a student or under a certain age, inquire about student discounts at attractions and museums. Additionally, consider purchasing a city pass or tourist card that offers discounted access to multiple attractions.

By implementing these budgeting tips, you can make your money stretch further and have a wonderful experience in London without overspending. Remember, being mindful of your expenses and making informed choices allows you to make the most of your budget while still enjoying the best that the city has to offer.



Visiting London on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on experiencing all the amazing attractions and vibrant culture the city has to offer. With careful planning, smart choices, and a sense of adventure, you can have a fantastic time in London without breaking the bank.


By setting a budget, researching affordable accommodations, and taking advantage of free attractions, you can experience the city’s rich history, visit world-class museums, and enjoy stunning parks and iconic landmarks without spending a fortune.


Transportation in London is convenient and affordable, thanks to the extensive public transportation network. Utilize the Tube, buses, and walking to get around the city, and consider taking day trips to nearby destinations to explore more of England’s beauty.


Eating on a budget is also possible in London. From street food markets to budget-friendly eateries and pre-theater menus, there are plenty of affordable options to satisfy your taste buds without emptying your wallet.


When it comes to shopping and souvenirs, explore the city’s markets, charity shops, and shops offering discounts. You can find unique items and London-themed souvenirs that are both affordable and meaningful.


In conclusion, London offers endless possibilities for budget travel. By being wise with your money, planning ahead, and embracing the city’s free attractions and affordable experiences, you can have an unforgettable vacation without straining your budget.


So, pack your bags, embrace the adventurer in you, and get ready to explore the magic of London without breaking the bank. With careful planning and these budget-friendly tips, you’ll have a truly remarkable and affordable experience in one of the world’s most captivating cities.